got to — this america, man

There are two kinds of people. You know this. There are people who’ve seen The Wire and there are those poor, innocent, unfortunate motherfuckers who haven’t. Sometimes it’s impossible to communicate with those folks.

So this morning I get this text from a friend of mine. She’s been living in NYC for some time. Late nineties, something like that. And she’s unhappy and discouraged on account of Bernie got thumped in the New York primary. But she sort of expected that. Doesn’t like it, but she’s not really surprised that Hillary won. She texted me this:

hillarys always had the dem machine behind her

And I replied:

You come at the Queen, you best not miss.

But she didn’t get the reference. Now, I’m not saying Hillary is Omar Little. What I’m saying is she’s been around the block more than a few times and no matter how many times she’s been wounded, she just keeps on coming back. The woman is tough. I’m a Bernie man, but I’m thinking he’s come at Hillary with too little, too late. I’m about half expecting to see Hillary wearing a t-shirt that says The Cheese Stands Alone.

But here’s what’s weird — what really has my friend distressed is Trump. Trump’s success has her surprised. It makes no sense to her. She knows Trump is a dick and completely unqualified, but she just doesn’t understand how Republicans keep voting for him. She sent this text block:

hes not even a republican

not politically.

why do they even let him run

the republicans i mean

And I texted back:

Got to — this America, man

Again, she didn’t get the reference. Let’s face it, texting isn’t what you’d call a nuanced communication medium, even for folks who’re familiar with The Wire. I could have texted:

Trump is Snot Boogie before he got himself shot.

But if she didn’t get the other references, she’d never get that one. The thing is, Snot Boogie wasn’t always Snot Boogie, just like Trump wasn’t always Trump. At some point in his life Omar Isaiah Betts (a totally different Omar, by the way; must have been a popular name in Baltimore) got tagged with the name Snot and so he became Snot. Donald Trump was just another spoiled, arrogant, privileged, stupid-ass rich kid, but at some point in his life he sloughed off his first name and he became Trump. Not a person, a brand.

Snot Boogie shot craps; Trump shot real estate. Two different games. When Snot got greedy and took the money, he’d get chased down and beat up. But “ain’t nobody go past that.” Until they did. Trump, when he’d get chased down, he’d file for bankruptcy. Snot gets his ass kicked; Trump gets to start over.

But here’s the thing. Politics ain’t real estate. The rules are different. More like craps. You got the money, you get to play. The more money you got, the longer you can stay in the game. Trump, he’s still playing real estate craps. He still thinks if he loses, he’ll get to start over. Stupid motherfucker. Most players who run for president, when they lose they end up like Snot Boogie. Dead. Metaphorically and politically dead, most of them. Remember Jon Huntsman? No, I didn’t think so. He was the Governor of Utah, ran for president just four years ago; now he’s Snot Boogied. What about John Edwards? Former senator, did pretty well in the 2008 campaign. Now he’s dead at Mistah Kurtz. Fred Thompson? He was running second in the GOP in 2008. He was dead as bricks, even before he literally died. A few candidates survive, wounded, but hardly any ever come back from losing.

And that brings us back to Snot. What happened to him was inevitable. What’ll happen to Trump — that’s pretty much inevitable too. He’ll probably get the nomination, Trump. If he does, he’ll meet the same metaphorical fate as poor Snot Boogie. After the general election, he’ll be face down on the street. And if he doesn’t get the nomination? He’ll end up face down on the convention floor.

My friend, she doesn’t understand how the Republican Party could let Trump get in the game. He got in the same way Snot got in. You got the coin, you get a chance to roll the dice. What happens after that, who the hell knows. But they got to let you play.

You know this if you’ve seen The Wire. This America, man.

 

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